The Boston Celtics hired 36-year-old Brad Stevens, who previously coached at Butler University, as their next head coach, and A. Sherrod Blakely says Stevens' youth could play to an advantage, especially when dealing with Rajon Rondo.
"[Stevens] has to establish that relationship if this thing is going to work," Blakely said. "Rondo is the undisputed leader of this team, and Brad Stevens as head coach, those two are going to have to work in constant with each other."
Blakely thinks that Rondo, 27, could respond to Stevens in a way to strengthen the team.
"Rondo is a very strong-minded person," Blakely said, "but when he's dealing with someone who's almost wise beyond their years, he may have already found that Rondo-equivalent in Brad Stevens, who is considered, in many ways, someone who is ahead of his times, just the way Rondo is in terms of what he's able to see on the court. There's a chance that this thing could work out a lot better than I think a lot of people anticipate."
Stevens doesn't have any NBA experience, but took the Bulldogs, one of the top mid-major college basketball programs in the country, to the national championship game twice.
"The one thing I will say about this hire is there are a lot of people in the game of coaching who believe this guy is something special," Blakely said. "A lot of people have made comparisons to John Wooden, that he's that kind of prodigy."
Watch Blakely's evaluation of Stevens in the video.